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The Bible is the world’s best-selling book, which contains abundant content— Adam and Eve, the progenitors of the human race, the history of the kings of Israel, the work of Jesus and of the apostles, and much more. Many people study the Bible and acquire new knowledge through it, satisfying their intellectual curiosity.
However, reading the Bible just to extend knowledge is not a proper approach to it. Our purpose for reading the Bible is to understand the commands God has given us to save our souls and to put them into practice. We can go to Heaven when we do what God has commanded us, thinking about how to fulfill God’s will and studying the Bible.
Do This and You Will Live
Two young people were travelling together; one of them believed in God, and the other didn’t. As they walked while talking about this and that, the one who believed in God asked his friend why he didn’t believe in God. Then he said, “Most of the Ten Commandments list things we should not do. I don’t like that.”
After walking for quite a while, they found a series of signposts at a crossroads, which indicated directions to different cities. All of a sudden, the one who believed in God began to change directions on the signposts. His friend was so surprised that he stopped him, telling him to put them back in their proper places because people would not be able to find their intended destinations. Then the one who believed in God said:
“Every word in the Bible is a kind of signpost God has given us. When the Bible tells us not to do something, we need to realize that God forbids it because we will fail to find Heaven if we go that way, not because He wants to blindly control our actions and to take away our freedom.”
He explained that God gave us His commandments to show us the right path to our destination—Heaven, so that we would get there safely. Only then did his friend understand why God wrote many commands telling us to do or not to do things.
As the young man said in the story above, God has provided a way for us to reach Heaven through the Bible. There are numerous commands in the Bible, such as “Do this in remembrance of me,” “Do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” “Do not steal,” etc. All these are requests from God who wants to lead us on the path to salvation.
Lk 10:25–28 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
Jesus said to the expert in the law, “Do this, instead of just knowing it, and you will live.” This teaches us that if we have discovered God’s will through the Bible, we must put it into practice. The reason we study the Bible is because we can find the way to obtain eternal life in the Bible (Jn 5:39). However, if we memorize the words in all 66 books of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation but do not put them into practice, what is the use of that? Since God has taught us the way to Heaven through the Bible, we must do everything God has taught us—whether big or small—with faith.
Satan has changed God’s signposts
What if people disobey God’s command to “do this” and insist on their own thought, “Even if I don’t do that, I will still be able to go to Heaven”? The moment they have this kind of thought, they will fall away from Heaven. Jesus has taught us that only the person who does the will of the Father in Heaven will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Mt 7:21–23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ ”
If we go in the wrong direction of a changed signpost, we will never reach our destination—Heaven. Even if some people have prophesied and performed many miracles in the Lord’s name, there will be no exception.
However, the devil our enemy has changed the signposts to Heaven, making them point in the wrong direction; he has changed God’s set times and laws (Da 7:25). As the pagan festivals were brought into the church, a signpost called the Sabbath disappeared and a changed signpost called Sunday worship was established in A.D. 321. Satan also removed the “Passover” signpost in A.D. 325 and planted a false signpost “Christmas” in A.D. 354. As a result, many people have failed to find the path to Heaven and are following the wrong path that lawlessness is leading them down.
Mt 7:13–14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
Jesus said, “Wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Many people today do not know that Satan has changed God’s signposts and mistakenly think that they are following the right path; although the Bible always points them in the right direction, they regard it as a wrong path. However, the path taken by many people is not always right. Through the Bible, we need to confirm over and over again if it is the right path. Although there are only a few people who follow the truth, we should follow God’s signposts to the eternal Kingdom of Heaven.
The Promise We Must Keep to Be Blessed and Saved
If you want to reach a certain destination, you need to follow the signposts pointing in the right direction. If you refuse to go the route that the signposts tell you to go or change direction, you will end up at the wrong destination. Likewise, if we want to go to Heaven—our destination of faith, we must fully follow the right direction God has shown us in the Bible—the teachings of truth.
God knows the way to Heaven better than anyone else. Since God the Almighty has given us the words of the Bible as signposts pointing the way to Heaven, we must follow them in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Rev 22:18–19 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.
Here, “this book” refers to the Bible. We must not arbitrarily change the truth established by our holy God. God commands us not to add to or take away from the words of the Bible. This means that we must never accept any way other than the way God has taught us to lead us to the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Bible has no record of Sunday worship or Christmas or cross-reverence. God lamented the situation where the Biblical signposts had disappeared and non-Biblical doctrines were added, and He came to this earth a second time to restore the changed signposts to Heaven (Heb 9:27–28).
The New Covenant is a promise between God and us. God has given us the Bible as a signpost guiding us on the path to Heaven. He has promised to acknowledge us as His people and to give us the blessings of heaven when we follow the words of the Bible fully without adding to or taking away from them.
The Sabbath, a Sign of God’s People
Let us learn about the Sabbath, one of the promises God has made to us.
Ex 31:13 “Say to the Israelites, ‘You must observe my Sabbaths. This will be a sign between me and you for the generations to come, so you may know that I am the Lord, who makes you holy.’ ”
The Bible testifies that the Sabbath is the seventh day (Ge 2:1–3). In the Old Testament, God commanded, “You must observe my Sabbaths.” Then He made the Sabbath a sign between Him and us for the generations to come. This is God’s promise to bless and sanctify those who keep the Sabbath and to acknowledge them as His people. In the New Testament, Jesus taught, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath,” and He set the example of keeping the Sabbath as was His custom, that the disciples should do as He did (Mt 12:8; Lk 4:16; Jn 13:15).
Thus, the Sabbath is a way to Heaven, which God has opened for us. It is a signpost God has set up and a truth that no one must change.
Eze 20:10–13 “ ‘Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the desert. I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I the Lord made them holy. Yet the people of Israel rebelled against me in the desert. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws—although the man who obeys them will live by them—and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and destroy them in the desert.’ ”
God has warned that those who do not keep the Sabbath which He established to give us life, those who follow the ways of Satan, will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Let’s think about a traffic signal system. Traffic signals are the promises we must keep for our safety. A red light means stop, but what if a person ignores the stop sign and keeps going? That person may end up in a big accident that leads to an injury or even death.
Ignoring the promises between God and us and breaking them leads to a spiritual accident. It is always followed by pain and destruction, not happiness and eternal life. That’s why Jesus says to those who practice lawlessness while claiming to believe in God, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!”
Let Us Have a Living Faith Through Action
Some desert-dwelling snakes prey on flying birds because there is not enough food in the desert. They possess protective coloration to blend in with their surroundings, and the ends of their tails look like spiders or worms at first glance. They wave their tails as a lure to attract birds. As soon as the birds approach them, mistaking their tails for prey, they open their mouths and swallow the birds.
This is how Satan tempts God’s children. Like the birds that do not notice an imminent danger of death lurking around, we cannot discern lawlessness that cleverly disguises itself. That’s why God gives us detailed instructions: “Do this. Don’t do that.” As children of God, we should understand God’s will and trust God. If we think about whether or not to do something God has forbidden or take God’s word lightly, we will unknowingly drift away from the direction to Heaven and our souls will end up being plundered by Satan.
It would be at lot easier if God let people act freely and took only the worthy ones among them to Heaven. However, God loves all His children, and He wants to take them to Heaven without losing even a single soul. That’s why God watches our every move and teaches us everything—even the smallest things. If God did not love us, He wouldn’t have come to this earth to give us the forgiveness of sins, nor would He have offered Himself as a sacrifice to atone for our sins. However, God loves us so much that He has established the detailed guidelines and directions to lead us to Heaven.
Since we are so deeply loved by God, we must make every effort to follow God’s word, instead of just knowing it.
Jas 2:14–26 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? . . . faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. . . . As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
The Bible says that faith without deeds is useless and dead. This means that faith without action is the same as unbelief. Faith and action are inseparable.
Some people say that we don’t have to keep the Passover or the Sabbath if we just believe in the precious blood of Christ. However, we must keep the Sabbath because we believe in the power of God the Creator, and we must celebrate the Passover because we believe in Christ—the reality of the lamb, right?
With a living faith made perfect through action, let us follow the path God has commanded us to walk and leads us on. God has also commanded us, “Go and make disciples of all nations, . . . teaching them to obey everything I have comanded you” (Mt 28:19–20). Let us also put this command into practice and lead all people in the world onto the path that leads to salvation and eternal life by preaching the gospel to them, since they are looking at the signposts changed by Satan and going in the wrong direction, down the path of destruction.
The ultimate destination of human life is Heaven. I earnestly ask you to always put God’s teachings into practice, keeping in mind God’s earnest request to return to Heaven—our eternal home—according to the guidance of God, so you can all enter the eternal Kingdom of Heaven.